WantWant's drive to create a media monster by annexing Next Media hit a snag at the National Communications Commission (NCC) this summer when the NCC demanded that it meet three conditions:
- Want Want China Times Group Chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) and his family sever all ties with the management of CtiTV’s news channel
- China Television Co’s (CTV, 中視) news channel be changed into a non-news channel
- an independent editorial system be set up for CTV’s news department
...Chao Yu-pei (趙育培), special assistant to the chairman of Want Want China Broadband, yesterday said that the Want Want China Times Group could not accept the NCC’s conditions, saying that “The company will not sell CTI Television Inc. (中天電視台) or alter the operating status of China Television Co. (CTV, 中視).” He went on to stress that “The NCC does not have any legal authority to demand that we delink the Want Want China Times Group and CTI, or change CTV’s operating status....WantWant and the other buyers of NextMedia agreed to all of the conditions last week when it announced that it was putting CiTV in a trust run by the Industrial Bank of Taiwan and then submitted a proposal to the NCC for handling the second and third conditions listed above. Throwing in the towel?
Previously the KMT had been against legislation for handling the media monopoly issue, but reversed its position the other day. Legislation sailed through the legislature. The KMT news organ passed this around today:
The legislative Transportation Committee on January 9 reported out of the committee amendment bills to the Radio and Television Act (廣播電視法), the Cable Television Act (有線電視法) and the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) proposed by the DPP caucus.Hmmm..... lots of backdoor dealings there. Was the NCC concerned the bill would limit its power? Was the KMT concerned that the bill would stop the WantWant deal? I'm taking Door B on that one. Reuters reported it that way -- KMT blocks bill:
According to media reports, the KMT party central hoped that the whole matter would be dealt with only after the NCC proposed an exclusive draft bill on anti-media monopoly in March.
The anti-media monopoly amendment bills sailed through the Transportation Committee in a hasty manner on Wednesday. Yesterday, NCC Chairperson Howard Shyr (石世豪) called on Premier Sean Chen (陳冲), expressing the NCC’s view that many parts of the amendment bills were impracticable. Premier Chen concurred with Shyr in that regard.
In a rare press conference last night, an NCC official commented on the anti-media monopoly amendment bills, saying that the NCC, as the competent government agency, considered the adoption of the amendment bills by the Legislative Yuan as the worst possible outcome.
The NCC official said that the DPP’s proposal in the amendment bills to separate media operations from the financial services industry would adversely affect the financial industry’s willingness to invest in the media industry because the proposal was too draconian.
In an about-turn on Friday, the ruling Nationalist Party (KMT) rejected the anti-monopoly media law proposed by Taiwan's major opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), a move that is expected to swell numbers at a rally planned for Sunday against China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou.MEDIA NOTE: Reuters version of The Formula for China's claim is subtly delicious:
China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong's forces won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's KMT fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule eventually, and by force if necessary._______________________
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